Featured during FOX4’s Zip Trip to Bonner Springs, check out these nearby detours.
In Kansas City, Kansas, the Strawberry Hill neighborhood is full of hidden gems like the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center.
“The museum is an 1887 home that was built for Margaret and John Cruise-Scroggs. They lived in the home until about 1919 when the influenza flu came through and the nuns asked if they could purchase the home because the family was ready to move to another location,” said JoBeth Nastav, administrative director.
The house became St. John Orphanage until 1988 and then transformed into the museum. It’s designed to give guests a glimpse of the many nationalities of area residents.
“We have 14 permanent displays from Polish, Croatian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Russian, and during the holidays, we get German, Irish, Italy and Belgium,” said Nastav.
The museum is available for rentals, from the chapel to the tea room.
“We rent that as well for 9-year-old birthday parties, baby showers, different types of parties, the Red Hat Society. We also have the Tomasic Hall that will hold up to 80 that we rent,” said Nastav.
“We allow anyone who’s interested in becoming a volunteer to come help however they want to help, even if it’s just an hour, we are happy to have them.”
The Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center is open for tours on Saturdays and Sundays. Purchase tickets at www.strawberryhillmuseum.org to guarantee your spot.
About 28 minutes west, in Bonner Springs, Kansas, Manna Meadows is all about alpacas.
“I saw an infomercial on alpacas about the time we were looking for property and we just became fascinated. We spent about 10 years researching, visiting farms, partaking in the chores and sharing in all of those things. Eventually we decided it’s what we wanted to do,” said Brian Heimes, co-owner of Manna Meadows Alpacas.
Manna Meadows opened to the public in 2010. Guests can get up close and personal with the alpacas, and even take an alpaca named Will for a short walk.
“We call Will our PR guy. He is just so easy to be around. Easy to be led around by even small children. He’s willing to be petted and hugged and loved on. Many alpacas are quite uncomfortable getting that close to people all the time, but Will has just been very consistently an easy-going guy,” said Heimes.
“I usually ask them in the beginning how many people have had a chance to be around alpacas and it’s relatively rare that anyone has actually been around alpacas before. We organize activities so we can divide them up and everyone gets time to spend with the alpacas and learning about the alpacas also.”
After time with the alpacas, the farm’s store opens so guests can see and/or purchase products, many made on the farm.
“I think a lot of people are fascinated by what they’re used for. We keep them as fleece animals, so we talk about the process of turning the fleece into yarn and using it in products that we make,” said Heimes.
Tours of Manna Meadows Alpacas are available by appointment only. Go to mannameadowsalpacas.com to book a tour.
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